Crossroads. Not sure which way to turn? I've been enduring shift work for over four years now, and it gives and takes in equal measure. On the one hand Joy and I are able to spend real quality time together and be a couple in ways that I know many envy. Whole days together, long walks, pub lunches, shopping trips, and other interests. But like making any deal with the devil it takes, too. Weekends, nights, meaning I'm not always around when I'd like to be. The job itself is well, the job I guess. I enjoy, for the most part dealing with the public, almost as much as I loath the political correctness and unavoidable politics inherent in any public organisation. Is it what I really want, though? No. Never has been. Never could be. I only ever wanted to write, and anything else could only ever be a plan B. and now I find myself asking what now, what next? And I'm asking the question because I don't want to get stuck in a rut like I did in my last job. It's easy to do, and more so when you're a father and a husband. I need to keep the money coming in, and sometimes that has to override the personal satisfaction of my job. Still, Joy has always been so supportive, and in the worst case she could do supply teaching so we'd never starve. All the same, she has a good quality of life right now; she's got the time to be an amazing mum and a respected co-worker at the nursery she works at.
Fact is, with government cuts as they are, I suspect that some career decisions are likely to be made for me within the next few months. The Government say that the cuts won't impact the front line, but that's simply untrue. Less people means lower service. Less people means that those left behind get stretched thinner. That's a non controversial fact about the way the world is. I'm expecting my job to get harder and less rewarding, which is perhaps the nudge I need to reflect on the next step.
By the way, I'm not really blogging for any reason tonight. Just getting some thoughts down. So then, when plan A doesn't pay the bills, just how do I get enthusiastic about plan B? I'm not the kind who can fake it, but at the same time I'm confident I could turn my hand to most things. If I were to face unemployment I'd happily do any other job that paid the bills, and I recall being told once that all work is honourable. I haven't got much time for the person that feels certain types of labour are beneath them; it seems to reflect an ugly cultural expectation that we're owed something, or that we're part of some unspoken caste system. Well no thanks. If I need to pack boxes I will, if I need to empty bins I will, and if I need to go downward in order to earn a living so be it. Ultimately, I don't define myself by my job and never have. There's more to being a person than that. More to you, more to me. I've also heard it said then when we find ourselves on our death bed the one thing we won't be saying is that we wished we'd spent more time at the office. Perhaps you disagree?